What is child exploitation?
We know that this phrase can be unnerving for parents and carers. The purpose of this guide is not to cause worry but simply give you some information about this important subject as well as resources and people you can contact should you feel you need to.
The word ‘exploitation’ means when someone takes advantage of someone else, putting them at risk of harm to benefit themselves. It is not something you do to benefit the other person.
Children, including adolescent children, can be exploited in many ways. This can include being trafficked, sexually or criminally.
A definition of child exploitation can be explained using this statement from Save the Children in 2020:
“Child exploitation refers to the use of children for someone else’s advantage, gratification or profit often resulting in unjust, cruel and harmful treatment of the child.
These activities are to the detriment of the child’s physical or mental health, education, moral or social-emotional development. It covers situations of manipulation, misuse, abuse, victimisation, oppression or ill-treatment”.
This statement tells us that adults can take advantage of children for their own benefit, which is harmful to children. We must make sure we understand what to look out for and more importantly, what we can do to keep children safe from this harm wherever possible.
Videos that explain more…
Would you know the signs? A short video from Pace UK, where parents and carers share their own experiences of child exploitation and what to look out for. Click here
What is consent? This short video is popular with adolescent children and it explains why consent in general is important. It would be a good video to watch with your child. Click here
Tea consent. This video is well known for explaining how important (sexual) consent is. Click here
Where can I get local advice and support?
Hampshire and the Isle of Wight:
Safe4me – provides parents with information and resources to help educate, guide and support children and young people to keeping safe. The website covers a wide range of topics relating to keeping adolescent children safe, which can be accessed using the following link: Click here.